Friday, September 2, 2011

Engagement Is The (Not So) Secret Ingredient

Let's talk about a couple of facts. Consumers don't like being told what they want. Consumers also don't like being spoken at. That's because they're people who want to have a say in what they consume and feel engaged in the process of creating and using their products. Don't deny it. You love being able to ask your favorite cereal maker, cruise line or hotel a question on Facebook and have an answer waiting for you the next time you log in. Honestly, those companies love it, too. Engagement via social media let's them help you have a better experience.

We took notice of this and chose to engage all our fans in this year's EatLafayette campaign. We shared our personal experiences and had many conversations on Facebook. After taking into consideration what many of our fans reacted to, we decided to try something new - Follow the Louisiana Hot Sauce Bottle.

First thing's first: The 12-foot tall hot sauce bottle. That thing is HUGE! There's absolutely no way to miss it. One of our sponsors, Bruce Foods, was very excited to be part of such a fun promotion that highlighted a few of our fantastic restaurants.

Here's how it all went down: a couple times a week toward the end of the campaign, the 12-foot tall Louisiana Hot Sauce Bottle traveled to one of its favorite restaurants. Everywhere it went, the amazing deals followed. One day there was a $5.95 shrimp poboy from Olde Tyme, another day there were $.99 hot dogs with award-winning chili from Ton's in Broussard, another day Gator Cove offered a free cup of shrimp gumbo with a purchase of $10 or more, and the list goes on.

A lot of people showed up and many of our restaurants who weren't involved yet wanted to be. The restaurants the Louisiana Hot Sauce Bottle visited received a large number of visitors and many happy customers cashed in on fantastic deals with full bellies. Win-win.

We were able to successfully pull off this promotion because we listened to the customers; interested diners wanted deals and great food. We decided to give them both, plus a dash of fun with a huge hot sauce bottle.

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